I met Dr. D (I am protecting his identity) two weeks ago today after his dad, my former pediatric dentist, referred me to him. It had been a few years since I had seen his dad since I had been visiting random dentists in Chicago and Los Angeles and I didn’t get the memo that his two sons had become dentists as well. When I tried to book an appointment with the dad the receptionist said, “you might want to think about moving away from pediatric dentistry.” Oh, I didn’t realize it was ONLY pediatric dentistry…I mean I thought all dentist offices had Pac Man and Donkey Kong in the waiting room! She told me that one of his sons worked along side him in pediatric dentistry and one worked with adults…so she set me up with the latter. I guess it was time to break it off with the dad and start seeing the son.
A few days later, as I sat in the examine room reading a book and waiting for Dr. D to come in, my mind began to drift. Suddenly, Dr. D’s family Christmas cards from the past 10-15 years started flashing in my mind. I remembered thinking my dentist had an attractive family and about my secret crushes on his sons but it had been awhile and I am sure they were not as hot anymore, right?
(Insert the tune “This Magic Moment” here.)
Dr. D glided into the room and extended his hand, “Hi, I’m Dr. D.”
My face went beat red…he was hotter than I remembered…and he was my dentist.
I smiled as I shook his hand and said, “Nice to meet you. I recognize you from all your Christmas cards your dad used to send my family.” (I DID NOT NEED TO SAY THAT. COULDN’T I THINK OF SOMETHING BETTER THAN THAT?)
The next part was not really entertaining…he just did a thorough examination. etc etc etc….
The outcome: not great. I had some cavities. DAMN. And I had been flossing more regularly and everything! I promise, Flosskia! I promise! (Note to self: Call up Glide immediately. Ask for a refund.)
I could tell Dr. D was disappointed and there was no doubt that I lost a few points in his book but I tried to win back a few by promising him (like I did Flosskia) that I would be a better flosser. I felt like I was freakin’ nine years old again. He might as well have pulled out the box of stickers.
The only thing that lifted my spirit of feeling like a L.W.C (Loser With Cavities) was that I was able to make another appointment to come back and see him again very soon.
I booked the appointment for the following Monday.
Flash-forward to Saturday.
I was walking out of Nordstrom and out of nowhere I saw Dr. D walking toward me wearing a baseball cap and looking adorable!!!!
As he strolled past me, I called out to him. “It’s you! You’re my dentist,” I stupidly exclaimed. Don’t ask me why I didn’t just say, “Oh hi, Dr. D. How are you?”
He smiled politely but with a look on his face that read, “Who are you?”
Dr. D: “Hi.”
Me: “I’m the one (pointing to my mouth) with the cavities.”
(As if I am some dental phenomenon.)
Dr. D: “Funny you recognized me. Must have been the smile.”
Me: “Yours or mine?”
(WHAT WAS I SAYING?)
I was now BEAT red again. He looked confused. I tried and alleviate the awkwardness.
Me: “Soooo….I guess I will see you on Monday. I’m coming to (pointing to my mouth again) get them filled.”
(SO MUCH FOR FIXING THE AWKWARDNESS.)
Dr. D: “No you won’t.”
Dr. D: “I’m on vacation till June.”
Dr. D: “Yeah.”
Me: “That’s too bad.”
Me: “Well, it was great seeing you.”
Dr. D: “Keep Flossing.”
And he turned and walked away.
I am not sure if the “Keep Flossing” line or the ring on his finger was a stronger indication that he wasn’t interested. (Btw: I didn’t notice the ring when I met him at the office. Rubber gloves, k?)
As the color drained from my face, I walked out of Nordstrom in pursuit of my social grace. Where had it gone? Why was I so tongue-tied around him? I kept telling myself that in a way it was good he wouldn’t be there on Monday so I wouldn’t have to apologize for the “it’s you” comment.
But who was going to fill my cavities?
MONDAY MORNING: I walked into the office and greeted the receptionist.
Me: “Hi, Jane.” (I changed her name, too.)
Jane: “Hi, Lisa. Go ahead and take a seat.”
I sat down.
Me: “Jane, who’s filling my cavities since Dr. D is on vacation?”
Jane: “He’s not on vacation. He’s here.”
Me: “That’s not what he said on Saturday.”
Me: “I ran into him at Nordstrom.”
Jane: “Hmm. I don’t know why he said that. I know he is going on vacation in June but that’s it.”
Me (confused): “Oh. I must have misunderstood him then.”
(BUT DEEP DOWN I KNEW I DIDN’T.)
I opened my book and began to read but I could not concentrate. The Christmas card kept flashing in my mind again.
Me: “Jane? Dr. D has a couple brothers right?”
Me: “And one works on the pediatric side, correct?”
Me: “Would you say they look similar.”
Jane: “Mmmm. I guess they do.”
Me: “So his brother is pretty good-looking, too?”
(OH MY GOD…WHERE. WAS. MY. FILTER???)
Jane (blushing and looking away): “Yeah. His brother sort of looks like Matt Damon.”
Me: “Oh! Maybe it was the brother! Is his brother on vacation?”
Jane: “Let me look in the computer.”
Jane: “No. He’s here today, too. He’s seeing patients.”
Me: “That is so weird. I could have sworn he said he was on vacation until June. Maybe it really was Dr. D after all but I really just heard him wrong.”
Suddenly, the dental hygienist walked into the waiting room interrupting us.
Dental Hygienist: “Dr. D will see you now. “
(Oh sweet. Now we’re seeing each other. He must have left his wife this past weekend after our run in.)
I stood up and walked past Jane as she whispered, “Just ask Dr. D if it was him.” (Like it was some covert operation.) “Oh, I will,” I replied.
My stomach was now full of butterflies as Dr. D walked into the room. (I have no idea why I was so nervous.)
Dr. D: “Good morning, Lisa.”
Me: “Hi. Dr. D.”
Silence ensued as the dental hygienist followed behind him. I finally broke the silence.
Me: “So, you know how I saw you on Saturday?”
Dr. D: “Yeah.”
(IT WAS HIM!)
Me: “Why did you say you were going to be on vacation until June?”
Dr. D: “I said that?”
Dr. D: “Oh. Hmmm.” He begins to line up the drills.
The dental hygienist listened in with curiosity.
Me: “I guess I must have misunderstood you then.”
More silence. I was now beginning to feel no connection here. I mean, I thought we were SEEING each other.
Me: “Dr. D…you WERE at Nordstrom on Saturday, right?”
Dr. D: “No.”
(OK. WHAT? WHY DID YOU JUST SAY YOU SAW ME??!?!?!)
Me (scrounging up some words): “Well, I had a conversation with someone I thought was you! HAHA!”
Dr. D: “That’s funny.”
He began to lower my chair.
Me: “I think it was your brother.”
Dr. D: “Could’ve been.”
Me: “He told me to keep flossing and everything.”
Dr. D: “Yeah sometimes people mistake us.”
Me: “Well, tell him I said hi.”
(Again. My filter was MIA.)
Dr. D: “OK.”
Me: “He did a pretty good job of pretending he sort of recognized me.”
Dr. D: “OK. Open wide.”
As I opened wide, the dental hygienist placed earphones on me so that I could watch the TV mounted on the ceiling.
The show? I swear on my life….The History Channel presents: D-DAY.
The next two hours were spent watching bombs explode as my hot dentist drilled into my teeth.
I have another appointment on Thursday. I can’t wait.